A plan to shift inter-city bus services from central Auckland to Manukau has been labelled a "bloody nonsense" by a business leader and a "killer" for a regular 81-year-old user.
Auckland Chamber of Commerce chief executive Michael Barnett supports a suggestion from Herald columnist Brian Rudman for intercity buses to be based around Queens Wharf.
This follows Auckland Transport wanting to move the main intercity bus terminal at SkyCity and bus parks used by Naked Bus and Mana Bus at Quay St to a new $35 million bus-train interchange at Manukau.
We will not be arranging Driving Miss Daisy or a taxi service from or to Manukau City and her home in Milford
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Forcing bus passengers on to another bus or the train to find their way into the central city from Manukau, 24km away, was "just a bloody nonsense", said Barnett.
"Every international city I have visited has its inter-city transport services terminate in the central city," he said.
Rita Grenyer, aged 72, who has a sister in New Plymouth, aged 81, who regularly travels by bus to Auckland, said getting off the bus at Manukau and onto a train to Britomart would be a killer.
"I do hope common sense prevails," Grenyer said.
Matua resident Wendy Davies said it was already a problem for her 92-year-old deaf mother to get from her Milford home to the central city to catch a bus to visit her adult children.
"We will not be arranging Driving Miss Daisy or a taxi service from or to Manukau City and her home in Milford. It is not feasible. The effect on her welfare will be enormous," Davies said.
In a letter to Auckland Transport, Bus and Coach Association chief executive Barry Kidd said a bus-train interchange in Manukau would make travel more difficult, more complicated and more stressful - especially for vulnerable travellers.
Travellers would face a 20 per cent increase in long-distance travel costs, he said.
About 500,000 passengers use the long-distance bus service to and from Auckland each year.
Auckland Council chief executive Stephen Town has arranged a meeting between council and Auckland Transport on Tuesday to discuss the issue in response to a request from the Bus and Coach Association.
One discussion point, Town said, would be who would pay for any land to provide a new bus terminal in the central city.
"I think Auckland Transport have said if the bus operators want to do pick up and set down in the CBD that's fine. We just need to find a location that is affordable and practical," said Town.
Auckland Transport has said the depot at SkyCity will no longer be available from later this year and road space is at a premium from construction projects in the CBD.
After investigating seven alternative sites in the CBD and other town centres, Auckland Transport believes Manukau offered the best solution for passengers with excellent connections to public transport in the east and south and heading to the city, north or west.
A mayoral spokeswoman said Phil Goff had been briefed on the issue but did not have a position. Councillor Chris Darby, who is responsible for transport as planning committee chairman, has asked for a briefing from Auckland Transport.